Career and Education Opportunities for Food Technologists in Alexandria, Virginia
Food technologists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Alexandria, Virginia area. The national trend for food technologists sees this job pool growing by about 16.3% over the next eight years. In general, food technologists use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
Food technologists earn about $32 hourly or $67,840 per year on average in Virginia and about $28 hourly or $59,520 annually on average nationally. Earnings for food technologists are better than earnings in the general category of Life Sciences in Virginia and not quite as good as general Life Sciences category earnings nationally. People working as food technologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: food safety director, compliance coordinator, and technical director.
There are eighty-four schools of higher education in the Alexandria area, including one within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree to start your career as a food technologist. The most common level of education for food technologists is a Doctoral degree. It will take four or five years to learn to be a food technologist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years if you have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Food Technologist
In general, food technologists use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
Food technologists check raw ingredients for safety and nutritional value. They also study methods to further optimize aspects of foods, such as chemical composition and convenience. Equally important, food technologists have to design new or improved ways of preserving and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry and other sciences. They are often called upon to study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing. Finally, food technologists evaluate food processing and storage operations and help in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
Every day, food technologists are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they be creative and generate new ideas.
It is important for food technologists to talk with process engineers and packaging and marketing specialists to deal with problems in product development. They are often called upon to test new products for flavor and adherence to government and industry standards. They also design food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications. They are sometimes expected to inspect food processing areas to insure adherence to government regulations and standards for sanitation and waste management standards. Somewhat less frequently, food technologists are also expected to demonstrate products to clients.
Food technologists sometimes are asked to demonstrate products to clients. They also have to be able to evaluate food processing and storage operations and help in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations And finally, they sometimes have to search for substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives.
Like many other jobs, food technologists must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Alexandria include:
- Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
- Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
- Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
- Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
- Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
- Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
- Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
- Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
- Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
- Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
- Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Food Technologist Training
University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD
University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has 2 areas of study related to Food Technologist. They are:
- Agriculture, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated twenty-four, five, and two students respectively in 2008.
- Food Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated seven, two, and one students respectively in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.
The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.
Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.
Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.